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I. Welcome & Introductions
Chair Tom Tidwell called the meeting to order at about 6:55 PM. A quorum was present.
II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes of the August meeting were approved.
III. Admit New Member Neighborhoods
No neighborhoods asked to be considered for BCN membership.
IV. Get Out the Vote in Buckhead
Justin Wiedeman, CPA – Sargent Advisory Group, LLC
Justin spoke about Buckhead’s chronically poor voter turnout and what could be done about it. He said he had organized a group that will be working full time during October to get out the vote in Buckhead, not in a partisan way. He passed around a signup sheet for those who might be interested in helping his efforts. He said his group’s principal efforts will be in the runoff election. He hopes they can get neighbors to call other neighbors to encourage them to vote.
He said it isn’t an issue to get people to register; it is to get registered voters to vote. He thought that signage might be a good approach.
Justin went over the key dates in this election cycle from early voting starting October 16 to the runoff on December 5th.
He said that voter turnout was higher in Council District 8 than in District 7. He suspects the reason is due to the number of apartments in District 7 and other differences in lifestyle.
V. Candidate Forum
Jeff Clark discussed the upcoming candidate forums. He outlined some of the policies which BCN had previously adopted to ensure that only serious candidates participate in the forums. For City Council races, candidates must have raised at $5,000 in contributions as of August 31. If there was a race involving two candidates, only one of whom had raised $5,000, then neither would appear.
Jeff also talked about the contested Council races that affected Buckhead. These included Council President, At-Large 1 & 2, Districts 7 & 8. Buckhead is also touched by Council Districts 6 & 9. District 6 has six candidates running and we don’t have enough time to include them, given the slight overlap between that district and Buckhead. Jeff believes that District 9 is uncontested. Buckhead’s main districts are 7 & 8 and should be considered. However, since only District 8 had two candidates that met the $5,000 threshold, only its candidates would be included in the forum.
In summary, the BCN City Council Forum will include Council President, At-Large 1 and 2 and District 8.
BCN’s Mayoral Forum will include the candidates meeting BCN’s fundraising criteria: Peter Aman, Kiesha Lance Bottoms, Kwanza Hall, Ceasar Mitchell, Mary Norwood and Cathy Woolard. Per guidelines established in previous BCN meetings, these candidates were invited because they were the top six fundraisers (excluding personal loans).
VI. Community Concerns & New Business / Announcements
Gordon Certain spoke briefly about MARTA hearings being held at the same time as BCN’s meeting about changes to some MARTA bus lines. The change impacting Buckhead is the “Peach” Route #110. The Peach which connects from the Lenox MARTA Station along Peachtree Road to Five Points Downtown and runs on a 15-minute frequency. The proposed change is for the Peach line to terminate at the Arts Center MARTA station instead of Five Points. Peach passengers could then connect with the train service or with a new bus Route #40, operating between the Arts Center and Five Points on a 30-minute frequency. The change could impact Buckhead passengers traveling to/from destinations between the Arts Center Station and Five Points.
VII. Next Meeting
BCN Board Meeting: Next Meeting: November 9, 2017 (No October meeting)
City Council Candidates Forum: Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Mayoral Candidate Forum: Wednesday, October 18, 2017
The meeting adjourned at about 7:50pm